BC announces maximum rent hike for 2022

BC announces maximum rent hike for 2022

The British Columbia Ministry of Attorney General responsible for Housing has capped the maximum allowable 2022 rent increase for residential units at 1.5 per cent. According to the Ministry, landlords must provide their tenants with at least three months’ notice (forms can be downloaded here) the first date the rent can increase is Jan. 1, 2022 the rent freeze in effect since the start of the pandemic has been extended to Dec. 31, 2021 rent can only be increased once every 12 months the maximum allowable increase applies if the same tenant remains once a fixed-term lease ends “The Residential Tenancy Regulation sets out that the annual rent increase percentage is equal to the inflation rate, as determined by the 12-month average percent change in the all-items Consumer Price Index (CPI) for B.C. ending in July of each year. The CPI is a measurement to determine the average change in prices over time that consumers pay for goods and services such as food, clothing, medical care and even haircuts. The CPI is helpful in identifying and measuring inflation or deflation, which is the purchasing power of our dollar,” Public Affairs Officer Shima Ghailan emailed CKTZ News. Sandra Wood, Executive Director for the Cortes Community Housing Society says that, “The government is being proactive setting a maximum 1.5% rent increase for 2022, because the cost of most other goods and services is much higher than that, thus giving renters a break on their housing expense as an essential service.” Photo credits (top) David Eby, BC Attorney General and Minister Responsible for Housing, speaks at a press conference in April 2021. Photo via...
Apple juice fundraiser for food bank reduces food waste

Apple juice fundraiser for food bank reduces food waste

Good Libations winemaker has announced its annual apple juice fundraiser to support the Cortes Food Bank. Cortes Island residents who want to share the apples on their trees are encouraged to call ahead and be prepared to bring the fruit as soon as possible after harvest. For purchasers, the juice needs to be pre-ordered and will come in plain or ginger-lime flavours in two- or four-liter amounts. Loni Taylor, who is coordinating the project, works as both an apprentice at Good Libations and a board member of Cortes Community Economic Development Association (CCEDA). Her passion for food security showed in this conversation, where she shared about: overabundance of fall fruit and reducing food waste minimizing propagation of apple maggot Good Libations’ succession plan and food programs CCEDA’s upcoming community outreach in regards to its downtown Manson’s commercial space Listen to the full conversation with CKTZ News above. Photo credits (top) There is plenty of space for apple donors to join the fundraiser. Photo by Loni Taylor. (Podcast) Apples dehydrate quickly after being picked and need to be kept in cold storage and juiced promptly. Photo by Loni Taylor. This program was funded by a grant from the Community Radio Fund of Canada and the Government of Canada’s Local Journalism Initiative...
Heron Day on Cortes Island

Heron Day on Cortes Island

Cortes Island’s second annual Heron Day was Sunday, September 5th. “Heron day is where we get a whole bunch of volunteers to go out in different spots around Cortes Island, at the same time, to count Heron,” explained Max Thaysen, President of the Friends of Cortes Island (FOCI). “If we have multiple eyes counting at the same time, then we know we are not double counting heron that are cruising around the island.” Fourteen volunteers counted for about an hour, between 10 AM and 12 PM. They saw 15 birds, 6 more than last  year, which is not as significant as the numbers suggest. There were fewer volunteers checking fewer locations last year. “We saw more heron in the proportion to more people looking, so in effect we saw the same number of heron. We saw approximately one heron in every one observation location, and that was the same last year and this year,” he said. Thaysen mentioned some of the 14 locations in this year’s count: Carrington Bay, Whaletown Bay, Smelt Bay, Cortes Bay (inside and outside), and Mansons Lagoon (inside and outside). FOCI looked at 9 locations last year. “The Pacific Great Blue Heron is a species-at-risk ‘of special concern’ (which means it is vulnerable and on its way to being threatened or endangered),” he wrote. Thaysen did not know if the Cortes Island population of herons is threatened, or not. “It could be that they are common on the shores of Cortes, but not in a lot of places where they used to be common,” he said. Thaysen noted that there are a lot more houses lining the shore...
Subsidized in-home help for seniors comes to Cortes Island

Subsidized in-home help for seniors comes to Cortes Island

Senior residents of Cortes Island now have access to help with simple non-medical, day-to-day tasks through the Better at Home program. Cortes recently joined over 80 communities across British Columbia where non-profit organizations in partnership with Healthy Aging by United Way deliver regular assistance to seniors who reside at home through Better at Home, a provincially-funded program. The services are either free or subsidized, as per an income-based sliding scale. In this way, low income seniors receive services for free, while seniors with an income above the BC average are charged the market rate. These fees are then used to provide more services for local seniors. “Many people on Cortes don’t have a healthy pension plan and don’t necessarily have the funds to hire people,” said Strijbos. Image courtesy of Better at Home Cortes. Services can be delivered weekly, bi-weekly or monthly, and according to Better at Home Cortes include: Visits: a weekly visit from a volunteer to your home. Deliveries: our volunteer drivers can deliver groceries and prescription medication to your home. Friendly Voices: regular phone contact to check in on isolated seniors, an easy way to stay connected. Seniors can receive regular check ins online or by phone by a volunteer—to make sure you’re safe or just to chat! Readers: volunteers share time with seniors with a book, magazine, tablet or newspaper. • Light Housekeeping: assistance with light household chores such as vacuuming, dusting, bathrooms and laundry. Yard Work: assistance with your garden, raking leaves, mowing lawns, pruning to maintain safe outdoor spaces. Small Home Repairs: a variety of services for the maintenance and upkeep of the home. We will help where we can...
Tidemark Theatre reopens with ‘the Magnitude of All Things”

Tidemark Theatre reopens with ‘the Magnitude of All Things”

Campbell River’s Tidemark Theatre is reopening at 7 PM Friday, September 17th with a showing of Vancouver film maker Jennifer Abbott’s ’The Magnitude of All Things.’ This was initially thought to be the first show since the 467 seat roadhouse and presenter venue closed down because of COVID, in March 2020. The organizers have since learned there was a performance eleven months ago. The Tidemark was built in 1947 and is one of the seven heritage sites identified by the City of Campbell River. “Opening again and welcoming live audiences again is hopefully a good milestone on the road to all things being able to open back up,” said Dr. Don Goodeve of Extinction Rebellion, who organized Friday’s showing. ‘The Magnitude of All Things’ is a journey into Jennifer Abbots’ grief after her sister died of cancer and the immediacy and drama of the changes and loss we all face as the climate crises unfold. There will be a panel discussion after the showing with filmmaker Jennifer Abbot, Dr Peter Carter, a member of Extinction Rebellion and reviewer of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change  and Green party candidate Jessica Wegg in attendance. “The idea behind the panel discussion is both so that people can get their questions answered and so that together we can explore the possibilities for actions and what comes next,” said Goodeve. Photo credits: (top) Publicity image for the Magnitude of All Things - courtesy Extinction Rebellion (podcast) Audience - photo by Karl-Sebastian Schulte via Flickr (CC BY SA, 2.0 License) This program was funded by a grant from the Community Radio Fund of Canada and the Government of...
Affordable rental crisis responsible for homelessness, says advocate

Affordable rental crisis responsible for homelessness, says advocate

Campbell River’s recent homeless count lists 116 people, a 43 percent increase over the 2018 tally, but is only one aspect of  the Strathcona Regional District’s rental affordability crisis. “People who are paying 40, 50 or 60 percent of their income for a place to live, are usually a few paycheques away from joining the 116 people that we counted,” explained Sue Moen, the Salvation Army’s representative in the Campbell River & District Coalition to End Homelessness. Close to 30 percent of Campbell River’s population live in rental accommodations and almost half of these are spending a disproportionate amount of their income on rent. The Strathcona Needs Assessment states that 22% of the households on Quadra Island and 30% of the households on Cortes Island are in the same situation. When people are paying too much of their income rent, Moen said they are forced to make choices like spending money on medication or electricity?  Or nutrition? Or dental care? “It becomes an untenable choice for people to keep a roof over their heads,” she said. In addition, there is the problem of seasonal homelessness in rural tourist areas throughout the SRD. While there are no statistics, every year a significant number of Cortes Island’s population moves out into tents, couch surf or find other accommodation, while their winter homes are used as summer homes or vacation rentals. Moen knows people on Quadra Island who have to leave their homes every summer. With the arrival of Fall, RV Parks and smaller motels are once again advertising winter rates. Photo credit: For Rent sign by Erik Mclean on Unsplash “We see that year after year, from the Oyster River...